Identity cards bearing personal details will soon be issued to senior citizens registered with Delhi Police

Identity cards bearing crucial personal details will soon be issued to elderly citizens registered with the Delhi Police as part of the measures being taken to enhance their safety and security in the Capital.

“The initiative has been taken by the new Police Commissioner to ensure safety of elder citizens. The identity cards have already been printed and would soon be supplied to the districts’ police, which have been assigned the task to gather all necessary details from the senior citizens who are registered with us,” said a police officer.

The identity cards will carry vital information such as name of the cardholder, contact number of persons in case of emergency, ailment details, contact number of the cardholders’ doctor and their registration number.

“A senior citizen cell is already in place to provide assistance to the elderly, especially to those living alone. Officers pay visit to some of the senior citizens every day, during which they carry out security inspections and check if antecedents of domestic helps are verified. It is also ascertained whether the local police are taking adequate interest in implementing the guidelines and special schemes for senior citizens. We have also set up two helpline numbers 1091 and 1291 exclusively for the elderly. Each and every call, whether or not related to us, is taken with all seriousness,” said the officer, adding that nearly 13,000 senior citizens had registered themselves with the police so far.

However, in a letter to the Police Commissioner, a retired banker had recently raised security problems being faced by the Capital's elderly citizens. Gulshan Rai, a resident of Janakpuri, expressed regret that no formal policy had been framed in this regard.

Stating that security of the elderly in the Capital was indeed a major area of concern, Shonali Sharma of HelpAge India said: “Our survey report has indicated that Delhi leads the country in crime against the elderly and their verbal abuse. In the Capital, most crimes against the elderly are committed for property. When it comes to the issue of security of the elderly in Delhi, neighbourhood watch, alert residents’ welfare associations and the need for registering the elderly with the police come in.”

“We receive maximum calls from the senior citizens on the HelpAge India’s helpline complaining that they have been ill-treated by children for their property,’’ said Ms. Sharma. Stating that besides being easy target for criminals, the elderly are also abused by their near and dear, she added: “The abuse comes from the most trusted of sources, with the primary abuser being the son in 56 per cent cases, followed by the daughter-in-law in 23 per cent cases. And worse, 24 per cent of those abused face it almost daily.”

This is according to the latest survey conducted by HelpAge India spanning 20 cities across the country.

The survey also found that a majority of the abused (45 per cent) knew about the police helpline but never used it.“The elderly need a robust social security system that not only ensures income security, but also gives them opportunities for income generation,” Ms. Sharma added.

More In: Delhi